Addiction

A few years ago, I fell quite ill. So ill that I had to be heavily medicated. Quite heavily medicated. I was diagnosed with something commonly known in the USA as the “Kissing Disease”. Now while that is common in the US, it is pretty rare in India. So rare that it took 3 blood tests and a professor of pathology to finally figure out what I had.

Now to bring me back to normalcy, the doctors gave me truckloads of antibiotics and what not. With each passing week, the dosages decreased, and once I was as fit as the rest of the people (back to normal), the drugs were tapered off completely.

Anyone who might have had fallen extremely unwell, would agree to the basic cycle.

Now, the question you’d be asking is why am I telling you about medication? Well, the thing is, that in life there are temporary boosts/supports that are given to enable someone to bring themselves upto a certain level – be it of physical fitness, or mental ability.

Remember as kids, when we learnt how to ride bicycles (for those who did ride them), we had something called the support wheels. We could screw these wheels onto the bike, and not fall off when we lost balance. As we got better, we removed the wheels and learnt how to ride without them.

What would happen if we never removed them? – We would never learn to ride a bike. We would always be dependent on the safety that they provided, and never quite manage to ride up straight. We would continue to rely on them. Similarly, if we don’t taper off from a drug, it becomes an necessity rather than a temporary means to bring our fitness back on track. I becomes an addiction.

In 1947, we gained Independence, and some intelligent people realized that a few of us are opressed when it comes to education. They came up with a fast fix of reserving a few seats in the colleges and jobs for those opressed classes. In theory, I agree to the idea. But today, it’s been 67 Years since we gained Independence, and the reservations instead of being being done away with, are increasing.

Reservations threaten to become an addiction to the people, a dependency without which they would fail to function. Or would they? Today, the socio-economic status has bent more towards an economic divide rather than a caste-divide. I’m proud to say that people from all castes, creed and religion are treated equally when it comes to primary education (that is the basic K-12). What matters today is whether you have the money to pay for your education or not.

If we’ve not been able to do away with the caste based reservation till today, then we’ve been doing something wrong. It was a temporary fix to bring everyone on the same platform, not make it a crutch to be used for eternity. We, as a nation, need to rethink our policies.  If in 67 years we have been using this as a tool to NOT build the school education system, then I believe that we should be forced to live without the comfort of this zone, so that we finally bring about a change in the government backed K-12 education. On one hand we say we should all be treated equally, but on the other hand, if two students from the same school apply for the same seat in the same college, but are from different reservation categories, they have different cut offs. I, was lucky enough to study in a school sans reservation, and a college where the reservation did not affect the seats. And that perhaps is the reason why I till date don’t know the caste and creed of my fellow colleagues, and nor do I care about it. But people who are affected by reservation do.

Caste or creed or colour or religion don’t define intelligence or merit. We all are as intelligent or as stupid as everyone else. We are all as capable as the person next to us. Please stop this dependence before it becomes an addiction and the society is thrown into chaos and decadency.

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